Also, if you're going to use SSL, get the 850. The control structure is basically the same, and the quantization and stuff that Rekordbox gives you is irrelevant if you're just using timecode or HID. Frankly, everything on it is irrelevant, so don't buy that…find some used CDJ-1000s. They're better decks and less wasteful.
As for the upgrade thing..
I owned CDJ-850's for a while and got rid of them because I felt very limited in what I could do. They also felt like shitty plastic toys - I was surprised that they were considered industry standard.. you could feel the gears in the platter, the pitch slider was grainy feeling, not smooth by any means, and the overall construction felt like cheap plastic. I sold them and was able to afford an Audio 10 soundcard, kontrol X1 and maschine and still have cash left over. In terms of track modification, music management and construction (depending on the controller you're comparing) they felt like a downgrade to me.
So I'm not biased or trying to fight an uphill battle, I've been on both ends of the gear spectrum.. I was just offering an alternate opinion
I am in the process of getting my dj "booth" built with enough area that I can fit my 1200s and my cdjs together. Then I'll have the option to use either at any time I want. For now, the 12s had to find a home in the basement to make room for the cdjs.
Having used a controller for a fair while I was getting tired of looking at computer screen- as I sit in front of one all day at work as well I've decided to go back to CDJs with the only laptop involved stashed away under the desk for recording purposes.
No doubting the amount of stuff you can do on controllers vs CDJs but for me, it was starting lose some of the 'fun factor' that I had with even my archaic CD decks. As someone that DJs purely for enjoyment this meant time to go back to a computer-less setup. I just need one of my cars to sell now for some financial redistribution!
All the research I've done into them suggests the 900s are well worth the extra over the 850s if you've got it. Quantise/Link/Slip mode/100% pitch range on all formats not just cd. But as said, if you are using Serato anyway the Pio CDJs are an expensive way of doing it. Turntables, sure. But for me, CDJs = no laptop.
I strongly suggest buying a better mixer for the money than the 700. I'd take an A&H, Ecler, Rane, etc. over a Pioneer any day. Going from a Xone at home to an 800/900/whatever at the club will not throw you for a loop, trust me.
To get Scratch Live running, all you need is a $250 used SL1, which you plug in between the CD decks and the mixer. There are higher end SL boxes, but most of them are essentially just the SL1 with a few extras - some of which may matter to you, most of which probably won't. In any case, the cost of SL will be less than the cost of going up to high end CD decks whose features will just be made redundant by SL's features.
Link to the other thread: http://www.djforums.com/forums/showt...pgrade-in-gear
The CD decks will be an upgrade, if for no other reason than that they make a more fault-tolerant setup than an all-in-one controller. I've watched people bow out of gigs and even be tossed off stage due to controller problems (if anything on your controller borks, it's not like you can switch out the offending deck without switching out the entire controller). On the other hand, with either set of CD decks you have the options of playing even if the computer pukes on itself, playing even if your CDs or USB drives are jacked up, and switching out decks or the mixer if a component fails. You have multiple layers of fallback plans. That is nigh priceless.
I was Console before the world ended. https://www.facebook.com/djsephiroth
"Real DJs do real things. Real things. Whatever the fuck that is." -oliosky
You guys have been a great help. I am going to go with the 900's and not worry about running software, just have one USB drive and use LINK. Also, getting the DJM 700 with them scored me a really good deal from Pro Audio star, so I am going to go with that set up.